Sherman, set the Wayback machine for…..

Japanese bow and grin for the camera but get nowhere in Washington.
Out of Washington last week came definite word that the U.S. is talking very tough to Japan. The talk went on between Special Envoy Saburo Kurusu, who had flown dramatically across the Pacific, President Roosevelt and Secretary of State Cordell Hull. By week’s end, Kurusu’s ears burned with the words that U.S. officials repeated again and again: “Watch out! You’re on Hitler’s list, before we are!”
The “issues” between Japan and the U.S. are simple and clear. Japan wants the U.S. to stop helping China and Russia (at least via Siberia), and cease its economic restrictions against Japan. The U.S. answer is a flat “No.” Worst of all, from Kurusu’s standpoint, Americans do not even seem worried by the prospect of war with Japan, whereas the Japanese are worried stiff by the fearof war with America. The defenses of Manila and Hawaii are stronger than ever. The Navy is ready for action. At week’s end, Saburo Kurusu suddenly called off his conferences at the State Department to do a little more thinking.

Life, 12/1/1941 issue, page 36.
What happened just a week after that was published?
Pearl Harbor.
Nagumo’s First Air Fleet had left its harbors on November 26, 1941, for the December 7 attack
And what of the “…stronger than ever….” defenses of Manila?
12/8 – Philippines attacked, 10 hours after Pearl Harbor
12/23 – Decision made to evacuate Manila, fall back to Bataan
1/1/1942 – Japanese troops entered Manila
5/6/1942 – Surrender of Philippines
Just last night I was reading a March 1942 edition of Life, reading their last report from their reporter in the Philippines before he (and his wife) were able to make their way out. They spoke of a Filipino boy strapped and tortured on the front of a Japanese tank in Manila for the offense of…touching it. And that was just a few pages apart from a report from a correspondent who had been with the AVG (Flying Tigers) as they fought in Rangoon until it fell. That alongside ads telling housewives how they could grow their gardens better to help the war effort. (Humorous side note- there is also an ad for Allison Inlines trumpeting the high praise(!) of the British for the P-39 Aircobra. Heh.) Breathtaking reading from the reports at the time.
But how does this fit in to our world today? Who is raising a (figurative) garden to try to help todays War effort? Could you imagine the uproar if a new AVG was even thought of being raised? Are we even being asked to sacrifice anything for this new War? I just don’t see it. But what I do see is a population with no connection to the sacrifices of our fighting men and women overseas. I see very few signs that our nation is willing to give up anything. And it saddens and concerns me, the more I read of these 60+ year old magazines, as I am not sure we have what it takes to actually win this new War. How many of our common citizens are willing to give up anything for the freedoms they hold dear, myself included? I am actually more worried that most hold little or nothing dear, other than themselves. As long as you can drink your Starshmucks and drive wherever you want whenever you want in whatever you want, who cares what those odd little brown men are doing over there in the Middle East, right?
And as for our new breed of reporters, well let’s see. I have yet to come across a single story in these old Lifes that are reported from the Japanse Army/Navy point of view, and I am fine with that. If you are trying to kill me or my countrymen, I could give a rats patootie about your input on the matter. I either want to see your arms in the air as you give up, or your toes in the air as you are laid in a grave. And I feel the same way about the WW2 Japanese as I do about the modern Islamists in that respect. I have no respect for the mealy-mouthed journalists in the Middle East who want the picture from the terrorists view. I don’t care what the root causes are, as I’ll worry about that after they are dead and pacified, and those left are living as civil humans. Right now we have a war to win.
The average person on the streets knows what the terrorists are doing, and how bad they really are. They just seem to lack the fortitude, motivation, and willingness to give up anything in the short haul to even keep what we have or have better in the future. And I really fear that if/when they wake up, we will be past the point of being able to fight it in a humane fashion. We will be at the point that it will only be fought as Total War. And more Nukes in the hands of those that brought us the Tehran Embassy Crisis of November 4, 1979. Sorry to ramble, but reading what our parent/grandparents did just makes me really wonder if we still have what it takes to stand for what is right, and if we really even still know what is right. Memorials and anniversaries ain’t it. Working to prevent the need for future ones is. That is how we should remember and act.
We need to fight to win, nothing less. Finish what they started.

2 Responses to “Sherman, set the Wayback machine for…..”

  1. Oh BRAVO, little brother.
    En pointe!

  2. Nightfly says:

    I’d expect nothing less from a guy with the blog handle “Crusader.” Superb.

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